Bethany Quinn on Going Home

If you haven’t noticed, Katie likes to get all spiritual on Wednesdays. So when I started looking for an opportunity to introduce myself, to tell my side of the story, I was hoping for a Monday or a Friday. Anything but a Wednesday. Yet here I am and we all know what day it is.

I figure I should take what I can get.

My name is Bethany Quinn. Wildflowers from Winter is my story. And I’m here to tell you that Katie and I haven’t exactly seen eye to eye lately.

We used to be fine. We used to coexist in peace. Until she started talking about Peaks. Until she got it in her head that I should go back.

I keep telling her she doesn’t understand what she’s asking.

Because unlike me, she likes her hometown.

To her, home is a happy place. With two loving parents, a perfectly respectable house, and a bunch of nostalgic memories.

She never had to deal with death. Or unwanted stares. Or whispers and gossip and speculation that tiptoed much too close to the truth.

Her memories frolic. My memories lurk.

They loiter on the corner outside of town, next to Jorner’s General Store and that green population sign.

They linger in the trailer park where I lived for ten miserable years.

They skulk among the stiff wooden pews of First Light and the deep end of the public swimming pool and in that tall silo on my grandpa’s farm, where everything started.

You see, Katie left home with every intention of going back.

I left with every intention of staying away.

Yet here she is, telling me it’s time to face my past. Insisting it’s the only way to move forward. As if I’m not already moving forward. As if I’m not an architect for one of the most prestigious firms in Chicago. As if I don’t live in an impressive downtown loft. Or have a boyfriend who is charming and successful and takes me to places like Vail on the holidays.

She keeps looking at me like she’s unimpressed. Like I’m the one who’s missing something.

She keeps telling me it’s time to go home.

Only she doesn’t understand that Peaks isn’t my home. It stopped being my home a long time ago. Going back won’t help anyone. Not me. Not my mother. Not Robin.

I’m not the only one fighting this battle. I was talking to my friend Bailey (check out what she has to say on Dani Pettrey’s blog) the other day and we’re starting to suspect that Katie and Dani are in cahoots. Because Dani keeps pushing Bailey to go home too. The two of them insist it’s for the best.

Whose best? That’s what I want to know.

Let’s Talk: Have you ever had to do something when it was the last thing in the world you wanted to do? If so, how’d you come out on the other side?

Interested in reading my story? You can preorder Wildflowers from Winter on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or

Struggling with the past? Check out Katie’s Facebook Author Page or Dani Pettrey’s Facebook Author Page to read a note from the authors. 

Katie’s over at Jessica Nelson’s blog today chatting about publication.  

27 thoughts on “Bethany Quinn on Going Home

  1. […] talking about my past and this whole idea of shame, I have no idea if she’s thinking third time’s a charm, or three […]

  2. I just read your story (and even blogged about it!); I even said that I was hoping to hear more about you and Evan and Peaks. I was very happy to see that Katie is planning to tell us more of your story. Hopefully, those challenges work out as well for you as these did. 🙂

  3. Hey Bethany,
    Trust me, Katie knows what she’s doing. Sometimes the things that seem the worst possible to us turn out to be God’s best for us.

  4. enjoyed the skit with Bethany, that is a neat idea, I once sent my son in the navy a letter asking if he had seen the young man and would he have him write his mother. too funny.
    anyway love your stories , thanks for sharing today.
    Paula O

  5. Jennifer Major

    Bethany, you poor girl. But wait, you aren’t a *girl* are you? You are a grown woman. You don’t have to go back. Unless the desire not to go back is so strong that you can feel the road pulling you home. Go. Alone. And check out the produce at the farm. 😉

    1. Katie Ganshert

      I’m a grown woman. You’d think I’d have a choice in the matter. Katie, apparently, thinks differently…

  6. Bethany, I understand how it feels to fight against returning home. I grew up in Mississippi, then left for 20 years. After living in four different states and serving on the mission field for eight years, we were faced with the decision to return to Mississippi – something I did not want to do. But 16 years later, I’m thankful God led us back home. So many sweet relationships made, lessons learned, and experiences we would have never had if we’d lived somewhere else. Guess God really does know what’s best for His children. 🙂

  7. (see that picture? The reason I fell in love with Iowa while driving through it. ;-))

    Bethany, I’m like Katie. I’d leave home with the intention of coming back home. Because family is important to me. But what would do if family wasn’t your everything? Like my mom? So you make your own family. But what if you’re too scared to give your heart away?

    1. Katie Ganshert

      Yeah, my family is definitely not my everything. I’m glad you have a great one. You sound a lot like my friend Robin.

  8. I still remember my husband saying “I will, never, ever, EVER become a teacher” and then six months later, he found himself in a classroom. I think, like you, Bethany, God sometimes calls us to the last place we want to go and then shows us that it’s exactly where he wants us to be.

    1. Katie Ganshert

      I’m not so sure what I think about the whole God thing – but I am very sure Peaks is the last place I want to be.

  9. Melissa’s comment cracked me up! Going places you don’t want to go is tough, but when you follow through, God blesses it. I’ve experienced this in my life!

  10. Hi Bethany, so nice to meet you! I can totally relate to past things hurting. Sometimes I want to stay away but then I go back, hoping things will feel different or something will change….If you do go back, it might be better than you think. No one stays the same so might be surprised. Anyway, Katie is awesome. I’d take her advice, even if it hurts. I’ve done stuff that I didn’t want to and I ended up okay. Sometimes it made me a better person, or I felt relief.

    1. Katie Ganshert

      Crossing my fingers that you’re right, Jessica.

  11. Patti Mallett

    Thanks, Katie. It was fun to get this bird’s eye view of your new best friend, Bethany, and I look forward to the formal (or informal) introduction that will come with the actual reading.

    Wendy’s very clever! Loved her comments!

  12. This is pretty much awesome. 🙂

    Bethany, can I just say, I’ve read your story. Trust me. You want to go home. There’s a hot farmer there! 🙂

    1. Katie Ganshert

      A hot farmer, huh? Katie hasn’t said anything about a hot farmer. What an interesting turn of events.

  13. What a cute idea. Loved Wildflowers (which I reviewed for The Christian Manifesto) and it’s nice to “reconnect” with the main character!

  14. I love how you even signed this Bethany.

    Oh, and Bethany, I wish I could tell you Katie has your best interests at heart, but I can’t. She’s a writer. She aims to put you through the ringer. 😉

    But she’ll make sure it all ends well! 😀 Comfort you much?

    Some issues you’ve been through are very close to my heart. Have your people call my people, we’ll talk! 😉
    ~ Wendy

    1. Katie Ganshert

      Immense immense comfort….(note the sarcasm) Katie tells me you’re one awesome chic. She thinks you and I would get along.

  15. Bethany, Going is hard. Oh, not the actual getting in a vehicle and traveling. The hard part about that is the anticipation. The hard part is actually being there in the middle of the gossip, and being in the church pew feeling the stares. But, and I know this is hard to believe, honest I do, once there in the middle of all that you will find you are strong enough to stare them down, to hear with and handle the gossip. So, gather up all your courage, put you armor on and head back. It’s not like you have a choice anyway, may as well be prepared. 🙂

    1. Katie Ganshert

      Nita – sounds like you know Peaks well. The stares and the gossip. It’s all very familiar. Trust me, I plan on wearing armor.

  16. How about making the decision not to go home?

    1. Katie Ganshert

      I would love to make this decision! But Katie’s running a dictatorship. I have no say. How’s that for free will?

  17. Bethany ~ I get that, I do! Like I was just telling Bailey on Dani’s blog, usually the outcome is not as bad as I feared 🙂

  18. Hey, Bethany! How cool to see you taking over Katie’s blog for the day. I sure enjoyed your story. I know Katie made things pretty tough on you at times, but you rose to the challenge. Your journey is amazing, and I think others will enjoy reading your story as much as I did.

    Have I had to do things I didn’t want to do? You betcha. Did I grow as a result of doing them anyway? Definitely. Some of my greatest growth came as a result of hardships endured.

    1. Katie Ganshert

      I hope you’re right, Keli. Katie’s over here nodding her head.


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